When I was creating the “Feminasty” line, I thought a lot about who I was when I started learning about feminism. I didn’t see it happening– I couldn’t pick out a distinct moment when the idea entered my life– but there was a definite shift in my thinking and awareness by the time I hit freshman year of high school. I like to credit Sassy magazine, but the truth is it was probably a convergence of forces stronger than myself that allowed my eyes and ears to be open to the message.
By the time I enrolled in college, I felt angry and sad and I showed it by being sullen and sarcastic. I was competitive about shit that didn’t matter (I was a total music/art snob and would cut people off when they didn’t share my views). I understood how the world wasn’t built for me but didn’t know what I was capable of, save for making myself feel better by making someone feel bad.
I don’t have a “transformation” story for you here. I know I’ve changed but it’s been close to 15 years since I started out at the Fresno State University campus. I will say that there was a group of girls I met on Livejournal during that time (you remember Lj? I’m sure you do if you’re near my age. We knew EVERYTHING about each other because there weren’t blog rules about oversharing and appropriateness yet. I really miss that). What I’m trying to say is that these girls were a lot smarter and mature than I was. Seeing how they interacted and cared about one another really did a number on me. I wanted that SO BAD. I think, maybe for a little bit, I was one of them. I’m not sure if it was the nature of our particular chemistry, if I said something upsetting (insecure narcissist much?), or something else, but I felt things unravel. At least on my end.
For a number of reasons, I didn’t make it happen again til years later with other women. This time, I aim to be acutely aware of myself and others. I’m glad it happened, but even now, I feel like I’m checking myself. Did I embarrass myself or someone else? Have I offended or upset anyone? Sometimes I feel like all I have to communicate are apologies. Or apologizing for apologies. Will I ever stop rolling my eyes at myself?
This is a big part of why the “Girl Gang” tee is important to me. It’s been a long time coming– this decisive design that calls to those either looking for a Girl Gang or cemented in one that already exists.
I’m here for you if you’ll have me. And really, if you’re wearing something I’ve made, you are already part of my Girl Gang. For real.
Brittany Deegan and Veronica Stumpf were my models for this shoot. They are so in sync with one another that I felt that energy radiating from the two of them during the time we spent together. They are smart, funny, and intensely kind with one another. We laughed so hard as I teased their hair as big as I could make it and smeared eyeshadow onto their faces. They live in Fresno, and so I traveled up there to shoot them. My heart felt a little lighter doing this project and seeing them interact so sweetly with one another in that town.
I felt like a better person having spent time with the two of them– no pressure, but those two are giving me hope for the future.